Curiosities - Information
Runaway in the storm
Sorocaba faced a hard rain and wind storm, which had not been seen in years, last Monday, December 13. Trees fell down, electricity has gone off for a long period of time, roofs flew away and water invaded all over the city. At Great Primates Sanctuary the situation was not different. But tragedy for one, happiness to Noel and Carlos, chimpanzees who were originally at Guga’s group, who founded the sanctuary. They had their hours of freedom to visit his friends.
They live in the largest enclosure of the sanctuary, which has 14 thousand square meters surrounded by trees. One of these trees fell down near a wall and a big 5 meter branch fell down inside the enclosure. Once the wind had gone away, they saw the chance to get out of the enclosure. They climbed the branch in a few minutes and went to the enclosure of their old friends.
A lot of yelling began, when the seven chimpanzees of Guga’s group saw Noel and Carlos calling them from outside, free to come and go. When I gave the alert sign, everyone who was at the sanctuary went to the “panic room”, inside the main house, while I tried to convince or deceive both fugitives to come back to “prison”.
The rain was still pouring down. Firstly I was able to catch Carlos, who entered at the School to greet his former partners and they hug and kissed each other. Before that I walked with them for an hour in a part of the area of the sanctuary, hearing a generalized yelling coming from all the enclosure, from those who did not know the fugitives.
Then I was alone with Noel. He threw a branch in horse who was near the way and cam back to visit the nearest enclosures. But he committed a serious mistake, despite my warns: he got near one of the windows of Big Billy, who hates chimpanzees and was irritated with the fact that Noel was giving all that hard work in the middle of the rain. Noel went to greet him, but Billy pulled his arms inside and bit his hands. Noel screamed in pain and tried to shake off until he was able to. He was bleeding a little bit in the mouth and had one or two fingers hurt. Now he was afraid and realized it was dangerous to tease the partners of the sanctuary who suffer from mental diseases. I kept walking and looked for a anesthetic to use, in case of necessity. Noel disappeared in the woods, behind Billy’s enclosure and in the way to his enclosure. Pinho and Alex indicated where he had run away to. I came back to his enclosure and started to call him. Then I saw him walking in a perfect balance in the top of wall and I entered and called him. He came and from where he ran away, he entered, hurt and in pain. I entered with him in the bedroom, where he laid down on the ground demonstrating he was exhausted.
Carlos slept in the School, where I entered with Carolina to help him to socialize with the group, as long as in the following day he would gather with his old friends.
The hours of freedom, apart from all the stress we suffered and all the rain, also had a price to Noel, who is now licking his non serious wounds that marked him forever. The external world he desired is not as peaceful as it seems and the dangers are very big compared to safe captivity he lives today.
Maybe now he learns that freedom has a price and, in the case of chimpanzees, unfortunately it is too high and can cost their lives.
[12/16/2010] Carlos return to Guga's group
Dr. Pedro A. Ynterian
President, GAP Project International